[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Elmira 9-21-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Elmira hereby finds and declares that the rental of dwelling units constitutes a business which impacts upon the public health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Town. The intent of this chapter is to promote the orderly and timely management and maintenance of rental dwelling units in order to protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Town and to further achieve the following beneficial purposes:
The protection of the character and stability of residential areas;
The correction and prevention of housing conditions that adversely affect or are likely to adversely affect the life, safety, general welfare and health, including the physical, mental and social well-being of persons occupying dwellings; and
The preservation of the value of land and buildings throughout the Town.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- A person 18 years of age or older or entity designated by the owner on the registry form who, by such owner designation, shall have the authority to make decisions regarding the management and maintenance of any and all dwelling units owned by the owner and located within the Town.
- A structure containing one or more dwelling units rented or being offered for rental.
- The state uniform fire prevention and building code, as amended.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Code Enforcement Officer of the Town or his/her designee.
- Town's Code Enforcement Department.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A residential accommodation which is arranged, designed, used or, if vacant, intended for use exclusively as a domicile or residence of one or more persons.
- The owner of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, a mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, administrator, trustee or agent.
- An individual or any entity which lawfully can be the fee owner of real property.
In addition to any other remedies available under law, any owner failing to comply with the requirements of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $100 but not more than $1,500 for each day the violation continues.
If there be any violation of this chapter with respect to any building containing one or more dwelling units, which dwelling units are occupied in whole or in part for human habitation, no rent shall be recovered for such dwelling units for any period during which such violation exists, and in any action or proceeding to collect rent owing for any period during which such violation exists or to recover possession of the dwelling units for nonpayment of such rent, proof of violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be an absolute defense to such action or proceeding.
No owner, agent or person in charge shall collect rents during any period of noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter which would otherwise be due and owing for the rental of a dwelling unit unless and until he shall have complied with the provisions of this chapter.
In addition to Subsections A, B and C of this section, any owner failing to comply with the requirements of this chapter must apply for and obtain a probationary certification pursuant to Chapter 171. In the event an owner fails to apply for and obtain a probationary certification, the Code Enforcement Officer may cause to be posted conspicuously on any or all of the owner's buildings containing a rental dwelling unit a notice stating substantially as follows: "These premises are uncertified pursuant to Chapter 171 of the Code of the Town of Elmira, and the use and occupancy of the building is prohibited effective 30 days from the date of this notice, and thereafter no person shall enter the building except for the purpose of making repairs, maintenance and security until the owner registers in accordance with Chapter 171 and complies with the provisions of Chapter 171."
In addition to any registry requirements pursuant to the state's multiple residence law, no person shall allow to be occupied, or rent to another for occupancy, any dwelling unit unless the owner first has registered the building with the Town in accordance with the provisions of § 170-5.
Exemptions. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
A municipal housing authority;
Hospitals and colleges, except for a building containing a dwelling unit being rented for other than direct hospital or college use;
Nursing homes; or
Other buildings which offer or provide medical or nursing services if such buildings are subject to state or federal licensing or regulations concerning the safety of the users, patients or tenants.
Within 90 days after the effective date of the local law from which this chapter is derived, the owner of each building existing on such effective date shall file with the Department a registry form. The owner of each building constructed after the effective date of the local law from which this chapter is derived shall file with the Department a registry form as herein provided prior to any initial occupancy. Such application shall be made on a form furnished by the Department and shall set forth the following information, in addition to other information required by the Code Enforcement Officer from time to time which may be necessary to administer, enforce and ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter:
Name, principal residence address, principal business address, telephone number and email address of each owner of record.
If the owner is an association, partnership, limited liability partnership, joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety or other entity, the name of each and every owner, partner or general partner and addresses in accordance with Subsection A(1) of this section.
If the owner is a corporation or a limited liability company, the principal place of business of the corporation or company must be provided and the name, title and residence address of all officers, directors, managing or general agents must be included.
The street number of each building.
The number of dwelling units in each building.
If applicable, the name of owner's designated agent with the agent's principal residence address, principal business address, phone numbers and email address.
The types of any fire protection systems located in each building.
It shall be the responsibility of the owner to properly register any change of address, agent or any other registration information which occurs after the filing of the registry within 60 days of the date of change.
For purposes of this section, a post office box shall not be accepted as the owner's or agent's address. Further, the building intended to be registered shall not be accepted as the owner's or agent's address unless it is the principal place of business or residence of the owner or agent.
The owner shall specify the address to which all notices, violations, and invoices for fees are to be delivered.
If said owner's principal place of business is not located within the county, or is located within the county but none of the business's officers or directors or members reside in said county, or the owner's principal place of residence is not located in said county, the owner must designate on the registry form a natural person 18 years of age or older who resides in the county as owner's agent whom the owner authorizes to accept service of legal process and all notices may be served or delivered. The owner must designate the tenant as agent if no other agent is available.
Within 60 days of the date of transfer of the legal or equitable title to any building required to be registered by this chapter, the new owner shall file with the Department a new registry form.
There shall be no filing fee for an owner filing a registry form within 90 days after the effective date of this chapter. Thereafter, an owner who owned a building during said ninety-day period but failed to file a registry form during such period shall pay at the time of filing a registry fee of $125 for each building being registered.
If the owner was not the owner of a building during said ninety-day period, there shall be no filing fee for said owner, provided the owner files a registry form within 60 days of acquiring legal or equitable title to the building as required by § 170-5. If said owner files a registry form after the expiration of the sixty-day period, the owner shall pay at the time of filing a registry fee of $125 for each building being registered.